Saturday Sundries 4

I’m at a wedding today. Somehow, my niece is old enough to embark on this journey, and yet I swear it was just last year that I became an aunt and was holding her newborn self. But today she’s a wonderful young woman on the first day of what I hope will be a lifetime of happiness and adventure with the man she loves.

So for today’s light fare we have the following offerings. Continue reading

Saturday Sundries 2

It was a dark and stormy night.

image credit: Microsoft clip art

image credit: Microsoft clip art

The poster child for how not to begin a novel. The butt of jokes, including in the classic comic strip, Peanuts, with Snoopy, the would-be novelist. The example given in countless “how to” writing articles for why not to open a story with a description of the weather.

And yet, it’s the opening line to an award-winning story.

Continue reading

Ringing In The New

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Let me start by thanking Char of Joy in the Moments for nominating me as a Blog of the Year for 2012.

Since it’s now 2013, I’ll retire this one. I’d bet we’ll see the 2013 version by autumn. 😉

As they have for so many others, the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog. Of course, if you’ve read this post, you know these numbers are less than accurate. 😉 But we can still have some fun with them.

There’s a link at the bottom for the full report, but you don’t need to bother with it. Here are my highlights.

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals.

If the Reader didn’t eat so many views, this number might be more like 20,000…. 😛 Either way, thank you again to all who have visited!

One of the top five referrers to my blog was Carrie Rubin’s The Write Transition. Carrie was also the top commenter on my blog. Kourtney Heintz, 4amWriter, Robin Coyle, and philosphermouseofthehedge round out the Top 5 of my awesome commenters. I’m sure most of you already follow these great bloggers, but if you don’t, do check them out!

Even though I’m a writer and post mainly about my WIPs, my most viewed posts had nothing to do with them. Instead, posts about blogging, social media, scheduling this thing called life, and the Tall Ships in Baltimore scored the most readers. Neither poetically inclined archaeologist Meghan Bode nor the characters from the WIPs came anywhere near them.

There you have the highlights. We’ll get back to regular programming on Saturday. The WIPs are the subject of Saturday’s post—even if it won’t generate mega views. The characters are far more important to me than blog stats. 🙂

Did you check out your Annual Stats Report? Or did you skim the email and move on? If you haven’t blogged a full year, you may not get one.

Click here to see the complete report.

Season’s Wishes

In this season of endings and renewals, I’d like to offer my wishes that in each of us we see:

The End Of:

Hatred

Fear

Intolerance

Injustice

Cruelty

Hypocrisy

Want

Greed

Injustice

Despair

And the Renewal Of:

Wisdom

Understanding

Respect

Hope

Peace

Compassion

Justice

Rationality

Williamsburg, 2010

Williamsburg, 2010

Williamsburg, 2010

Williamsburg, 2010

May 2013 see us setting forth on a better path.

An End Of Year Thank You To My Readers

Well, I for one am not surprised—the world is still here. That’s not to say a meteor couldn’t strike in 2013, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Maybe now we can go about our lives and strive to make the upcoming year and those that follow the best they can be.

As I move toward my part in that goal, I’d like to start here by giving heartfelt thanks to my readers. I’ve now been blogging for just over a year, and I would never have made it this long without your help.

Thank you 2

Image credit: Microsoft clip art

Even though we haven’t met outside of cyberspace, I feel like I really know some of you because you leave lovely comments on my posts. Some of you have even reblogged them or shared them on other social networks. I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling that is. Despite my belief that Earth’s doom is eons away, I’m pessimistic about humanity’s long-term survival. But when I see so many wonderful comments from readers and the support we offer one another, some optimism creeps into my life. How could I not be thankful for that?

Other readers are more elusive. I know you’re here because my blog views show you are (despite WordPress eating so many of them with the Reader—even the “new” stats don’t show those). Of course, a few of those views are the result of dubious search-engine results. How a search for “俄罗斯,” which I learned is Chinese for “Russia,” brought someone to this blog is beyond me. I’m guessing the “silent” readers might be shy. Or they aren’t the commenting kind. That’s okay, I understand. I follow some blogs where I rarely, if ever, make my presence known. But whenever I see more views appearing in my stats, I’m thankful for those, too. Someone stopped to spend a few moments to read what I’ve written? How could I not be thankful for that?

It’s a busy time of year for many of us, so I’ll keep this short and close with hopes that the end of the year finds you happy and well. Thank you again for all of your support!

Williamsburg Wreath 2009

Williamsburg Wreath 2009

So The Dog Didn’t Eat My Blog Views — WordPress Did

Maybe you’ve noticed this. You upload a post and a few minutes later, the “likes” start coming in. But wait—your stats page doesn’t show any views for the post. Where did these “likes” come from?

Blog-savvy readers know the likes originate in the WordPress Reader. Readers can read posts and leave likes without leaving the Reader. (Wanna try saying that ten times fast?) Only if they comment will a view appear in your stats.

Excuse me, but this makes no sense. Continue reading

Generally Speaking

Jack of all trades but Master of none. . .

. . . is an old expression meaning someone is competent at a number of tasks but doesn’t excel at any single thing. The phrase is meant to be disparaging. But why should that be? Why is it “better” to do one thing very well (specialize) rather than be competent at several (generalize)?

You see both behaviors in the animal kingdom. Some species are “generalists.” They eat a variety of plants (and other animals). Think bears. Continue reading

Blogs — How Do You Interact With Them? Part 2

This post wraps up my surveys about how readers follow and interact with blogs. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here. Once again we topped 30 respondents, so the results are statistically valid—at least in regard to the people who read my blog. The comments made it clear that many of us are busy people with busy lives who struggle to keep up with everything we do. I think we need a collective breather before the end of the year.

With that said, let’s dive into the poll results so you can move to the next item on your day’s to-do list.

Do You Respond To Blog Posts?

Do You Respond

I hoped that people who normally don’t respond would answer this question. But there were no “never” replies. Of course, such readers might have refused to answer on principle. That’s okay.

We’re conscientious folks in this corner of Blog Land, and most of us respond as often as possible to as many posts as we can. Based on the comments, sometimes we can’t reply because of time constraints. Also, if we don’t know what to say (such as in response to someone’s very personal experience) or feel we have nothing new to offer, we might leave only a “like” or not respond.

How Do You Respond To Blog Posts?

How Do You Respond

I’m glad to say we’re flexible in our responses. No one who took the poll leaves only likes or only comments. Most of us leave a like or comment or both, depending on our available time, comfort level with the blogger, and personal interests. There is a group of bloggers that thinks “likes” are too reminiscent of Facebook and doesn’t use them. But there’s another group at the other end of the spectrum that relies heavily on the “like” button.

I have to admit, I like the “like” button. Sometimes that’s the best way for me to respond. What I don’t like about the self-hosted blogs is that they don’t have like buttons. Sometimes I don’t have time for more, and at others I don’t feel comfortable commenting. Without the like button, I can’t let those bloggers know I stopped by.

When Do You Respond To Blog Posts?

When Do You Respond

As you see in this last graph, we try to respond! By far, we either respond to most posts by most bloggers we follow or at least more often on some blogs than others. I suspect there’s a correlation between these two replies and the number of blogs followed. I bet the more blogs we follow, the more likely we are to respond more to some than others.

In Sum

There you have the results. I hope you’ve enjoyed the chance to compare your blogging habits with those of other readers. In this hectic month jam-packed with various holidays, I’ll keep my posts shorter so as not to take up too much of your limited time. Now go enjoy your day!